The purpose of this blog is to report on winter climbing conditions in Snowdonia, to keep you lot who like nothing better than climbing ice, snow, frozen turf etc in ridiculously low temps informed!! As well as it being a record of some of my own winter climbing adventures. Feel free to email me any of your own conditions reports & photos you have & I will post them here. The more info on winter conditions the better! email:

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The Ramp & Idwal Stream

Out on my own again today, and thought I would see how the ice was looking above Idwal. I didnt arrive at Ogwen until 10.30am, and it was warm! A severe thaw was in full swing and the walk up to Idwal was in slushy water.
Plenty of ice on the usual routes, although most of it was falling down & pouring with water. Decided to climb The Ramp though, as it is very sheltered and there was still some good ice left on it if you picked your line carefully. Although I was clobbered a few times by falling ice several times. Maybe not the most sensible route choice today!
Then over to Idwal Stream where I soloed the first 3 pitches (the interesting bits!), then descended mixed ground to the side.
As I was walking back on the path towards the slabs, there was one almighty crash as a very large section of the Devils Appendix fell down. Must have been about a 20 foot piece!

Met Sean & Dave when back at the carpark (hi lads) who had just climbed the Cneifion Arete. They reported pretty awful snow conditions in Cwm Cneifion, and a lot of loose powder on the Arete which made for an interesting ascent.

It would seem that the avalanche risk is very high at the moment. One climber who was on Trinity Face on Snowdon today witnessed 4 avalanches.

Pic 1: The Ramp (left) & The Screen (right)
Pic 2: First pitch of Idwal Stream
Pic 3: Idwal Stream
Pic 4: Alpine like Glyders again!

Erazerhead VIII

Here is the info on the new grade VIII route on Clogwyn Du: Click here

Monday, 22 February 2010

New grade VIII done yesterday on Clogwyn Du

I'm hearing that there was another first ascent done yesterday on Clogwyn Du. VIII apparently!! Scary stuff.
I'm sure there will be more info on that soon on Baggy's blog maybe???

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Black Ladders by Mike Lelliot

Text from Mike Lelliot:

I soloed Eastern arete on Black Ladders today. Lots of snow so had to dig for axe placements sometimes. Foot deep powder on plateau but good neve. Good ice on the slabs at bottom of the route. Teams on Pyramid and Central Gullies.


Thursday, 18 February 2010

Main Gully, Glyder Fach (Alpine Snowdonia)

Was supposed to be off to climb Righthand Clogwyn today, but my mate had to cancel due to lack of babysitter & half term issues. So I was on my own.
Have had a bad back for the last few days so just thought I would go for a mooch up to Idwal & see how I felt.
Ended up heading up to Cwm Cneifion and doing Pinnacle Gully, then Right Hand Pinnacle Gully. Was feeling much more flexible by now, and the weather had just turned positively Alpine! Brilliant blue skies.
So dropped over the Gribin Ridge, and went over to Main Gully on Glyder Fach which is classed as a 260m grade II in the Welsh Winter Climbs book.
However when I got into the gully proper I discovered it was full of a LOT of fresh snow and felt extremely precarious & unstable. It is worth pointing out that I am no expert in avalanche assessment, but to me it felt risky.
So after the two crux moves, I moved right and climbed broken mixed ground to the summit. This felt much more like a grade II/III or more likely III. Had my heart in my mouth on a few occassions, but was just me being a wuss most probably!

When I arrived on the summit plateau I was treated to a fantastic inversion, and a most Alpine feel to the day. Crib Goch, Crib y Ddysgl & Snowdon were clearly visible poking out above the clouds.

So we have more snow in Snowdonia, and below zero temps forecast for the next 7 days or so. Could do with some thaw as well though to bring the snow into good condition.

For the time being be very careful out there.

Pic 1: Gribin ridge
Pic 2: Glyder Fach
Pic 3 & 4 : Inversion pics

Friday, 12 February 2010

Trinities & Ice fun!

Went with my good friend Mike.F today back onto the Trinity Face of Snowdon. Left Hand, Right Hand, Central & Cave Gully were all climbed today to my knowledge. Left was in great condition with good ice towards the top according to one very enthusiastic climber, we did Central which again was faultless from bottom to top, another team did Right Hand but I didn't get chance to talk with them. A team we spoke to at the summit had just done Cave Gully and said it was 'desperate' on the crux.
We were even treated to some parting of the clouds today, and glimpses of fantastic views at the top.

There are dozens of icefalls forming all over the s.slopes of Garnedd Ugain (on the right of the Pyg Track going up). There were several climbers on various ones today. We had a solo of some excellent ice. Ranging from 30-35 degree through to full 10m vertical climbable icefalls are popping up all over these slopes. Great for practising your ice climbing!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Sheffield Adventure Film Festival

Hi Andy
Any chance you could mention the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival on your
Much appreciated,
Matt Heason


Sheffield Adventure Film Festival

March 12-14 - The Showroom Cinema, Sheffield

More adventure, less air miles. This March the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival will feature 44 action and adventure packed award-winning films featuring adventure sports and travel from around the globe. Get yourself to The Showroom (the largest Independent Cinema outside of London, and voted Best Cultural Venue in the region) and make just one journey for a round-the-world the trip of a lifetime. From sea kayaking and free running in the UK to mountaineering in Papua New Guinea, solo big-wall climbing in California’s Yosemite Valley and 107m waterfall kayaking in Africa, you can take in the films in bite sized 2 hour chunks, as many or as little as you like, all introduced by either the UK’s best ever female climber Lucy Creamer, or Everest Summiteer and professional photographer Ian Parnell. Make sure to take in some of the 24 premieres and experience the big screen, big sound and big audience feel that Youtube and Iphones just can’t offer.

Between stints in front of the screen there’s a whole host of other stuff to do, most of it for free. Bring the kids along for family friendly screenings. Pick up an urban orienteering map, chill out in the photo exhibition with a good book and some live acoustic music. Drop in to the rucksack sale and pick up some second hand kit bargains, have a free physio consultation, or get involved in the Steep Shot photography shoot-out as pro and amateurs battle it out for a substantial cash prize. Donate blood, enjoy a pint of the specially brewed ShAFF beer (preferably not too close to each other!) or have a go in the open Quiz compeered by none other than Sheffield’s own stand-up comedian, climber and author Niall Grimes.

After each of the 5 previous festivals 100% of visitors have said they will come again and bring a friend. That’s a testimonial we aim to repeat this year and long into the future. 

Make a weekend of it. Don’t forget that the Peak District is a only a 20 minute train ride away. The festival website will feature discounted accommodation and travel links so that you can make your visit a straightforward as well as fun experience.


Trailer (please feel free to embed online):

Tickets Available On-line:


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Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Broad Gully, Cwm Ffynnon Lloer, Pen Yr Ole Wen

Beautiful day today in N.Snowdonia. Walked up to Cwm Ffynnon Lloer to have a look if anything on Pen Yr Ole Wen looked do able. Went for Broad Gully which was rock hard snow from botton to top. 3 interesting optional icefalls to play on too. The first one about 15m to the right of the start looked attractive with very impressive stalegtites, but on closer inspection it wasn't solid enough to climb, at least not for a big lump like me. 50m or so further up the gully was a nice section of grade
III ice which was in much better shape. Another 50 or 60m further again was an even better icefall which I promptly chickened out of. (I was on my own soloing after all!)
Top of Pen Yr Ole Wen weather was blue sky & completely still & silent, quite eery. Could quite clearly see Cwm Cnefion looking great again, I would imagine it is just getting better & better in there. Y Garn looks far more patchy, although you can make out (if you click on 'Snowdon between my boots' picture) A & B gullies, although they might just be a bit thin, hard to say.
From where I was it looked like Idwal Stream was once again frozen, and that the Devil's Appendix upper section was forming.

Pic 1: Hourglass Gully & Broad Gully
Pic 2: Headwall of Cwm and Left & Right Y Gullies to the left. Right Y Gully looked complete, but Left has portions missing.
Pic 3: Icefall to right of Main Gully start (alternative indirect start), looks nice, but not to be today.
Pic 4: Snowdon between my boots!

Monday, 8 February 2010

Trinity Gullies - Clogwyn y Garnedd

On my own again today so I thought a quick poke around on Trinity Face on Snowdon was in order. Very poor visibility above 800m today. Snow conditions were fantastic, like climbing thick polystyrene, great axe placements every time. I did Central Trinity (thanks to the team of two who let me pass them) in great nick. Left Hand Trinity also looked sweet, Right Hand I poked my head into looked do able but a wee bit lean for my liking. Some fresh snow on the face, but not enough to be of concern. Plenty of spindrift coming down, and poor visibility added to a sense of adventure!
Great Gully is a route I haven't done, but would like to. Had a peek today and there certainly was decent snow & ice in it, but a couple of hefty looking chockstones looked very bare & a bit scary for soloing, so decided against it today.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Saturday conditions by Mike Lell

Hi Andy
Sorry for the late report for saturday. Crib Goch snowy towards the Garnedd Ugain end, Left & Central Trinity gullies in, 2 teams on Right but very lean. Parsley Fern in & getting several ascents. Lots of snow on the Miner's track zig zags and lots of muppets without any proper gear sliding around! Fantail gully has plenty of ice.
Mike Lell

Friday, 5 February 2010

Tower Slabs

Went up into Cwm Cnefion today with Mike Lell. Much better than expected. We climbed Tower Slabs (variant, only Mike knows what that means!) which still had plenty of ice on it. Some of it a wee bit wet, some of it 'dinner plating' (as they say), but thoroughly enjoyable & very climbable.
Tower Gully also in good nick with a team in it. Easy route gave us a good descent on neve back into the cwm (my glissade nearly went horribly wrong!).
Mike went for a quick blast then up Hidden Gully, again in excellent condition. A team of beginners were in it, pitching the route having a ball.
Y Gully left hand branch & Y Gully right hand direct still had a lot of ice in them and looked very do able, but as we were soloing we didnt fancy it.

Devil's Kitchen area is completely stripped of all snow & ice. Looking across to Y Garn there was still certainly snow on Banana Gully, A Gully & B gully etc, but can't comment on the condition of it. Also from the Glyder plateau you could see it was still white over in Cwm Glas area.

Unless there is any sub zero temps soon none of it will last though. If you are going out, do it SOON.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Black Ladders, Eastern Gully

Mike.L has reported that Eastern Gully on the Black Ladders was in excellent nick today. Very poor visibility at the base of the crag, and took some searching to find the correct start point. He says that the wind was behind him so blowing spindrift up the gully.
Nice one Mike, see you in the morning!